Tampakan puts up honesty store to help farmers

TAMPAKAN, South Cotabato, May 1 (PIA) --  To help local farmers who are disadvantaged due to over production, the local government unit of Tampakan established Wednesday an honesty store selling commodities bought from local vegetable growers and other items donated by partners. 

Tampakan's honesty store is located along Yakal Street, outside the municipal plaza. On sale are different agricultural commodities such as rice, squash, cabbage, string beans, eggplants, cucumber, sayote, potato, taro, sweet potato, radish, as well as grocery items like sugar, eggs, dried fish, canned goods and noodles at much reduced prices. 

A kilo of rice, for example, only costs P27.50 while a  large head of cabbage costs P15 per piece and a whole squash is sold at P5 to P15 each depending on the size.     

Mayor Leonard Escobillo told Philippine Information Agency that the honesty store was created to help vegetable growers who are at the losing end of excess production and very low buying prices. 

"Rather than allowing excess vegetables to rot, we decided to buy our farmers' produce. Initially, we thought of offering the collected vegetables through community pantry but this approach is not sustainable; so, we decided to put up this honesty store. Whatever income we gather from the store will be used to buy more vegetables from our farmers," Mayor Escobillo said. 

"Our primary objective is to find market for the excess production in vegetables and other commodities from our farmers. The driving force behind this project is the volume of production of our farmers," he explained further. 

The local chief executive also emphasized that the municipal government did not shell out funds for the initiative.  

"No government fund was used to run the honesty store. This is being financed from contributions from elected officials and donations from businessmen and other stakeholders," he said. 

Donations are being sold at lowest prices and proceeds will be added to the store's assets for the purchase of more products from our farmers. 

At the opening rites, Mayor Escobillo reminded buyers to only purchase for one day consumption and strictly follow minimum health standards such as social distancing and wearing of face mask and face shield. 

Customers are left on their own to pick and weigh items from the store, compute the total cost, and drop the payment into the collection boxes. 

Barter trading is also allowed where a buyer can exchange his product with items from the store. 

Assigned LGU personnel visit the store every two hours to replenish the items on display. 

Depending on public cooperation, the honesty store at the town plaza will be replicated in barangays, Escobillo said.  (DED-PIA XII) 

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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